Govt clean chit to P&W engines in A320 Neos

MUMBAI: The government has given a clean chit to US engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney whose engines have been the cause of numerous incidents, including in-flight shut downs on A320Neo aircraft operated by IndiGo and GoAir in India. The DGCA is expected to issue additional safety directives next week for the A320Neo powered by these snag-prone Pratt and Whitney engines.

The latest incident occurred on January 3 when an engine of an Indigo Airbus A320Neo, operating a Chennai to Kolkata flight, failed mid-flight with a loud bang which was followed by severe vibrations.The DGCA has initiated an inquiry into the incident.

The ministry of civil aviation took a serious view of the said incident and called a meeting of all stakeholders on Tuesday.

The meeting which began late in the evening lasted for over three hours.

“A root cause analysis on the A320Neo issues was carried out. In-flight engine shutdown cases in India was found to be lower than the global benchmark,’’ said a source adding that there were higher number of such incidents in India because two Indian carriers were among the largest clients of these engines.

“The number of incidents on A320Neos per thousand hours of flying in India is low,” the source said adding that the ministry was satisfied with the corrective action taken by the airlines and Pratt and Whitney.

Last year in February, the European regulator had issued an emergency directive against PW 1100 engines manufactured post October 2017, bearing serial numbers 450 and above (post-450) . The European regulator found that these post-450 engines which incorporated an engineering change (involving a “knife-edge seal’’ in the aft of high pressure compressor) were more prone to inflight shutdown.

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